Sunday, July 31, 2016

On the Road to Find Out

I should have done this long ago. Why would the Universe give me the money if I am not supposed to spend it, be the flow, let it blossom, let it grow. Make the road so much easier for me. So I got this car in Port Angeles from some kindly old guy, saw his ad on the board in Safeway while I was stocking up on chow, and my bank was just a few blocks away. Perfect. The car belonged to his wife who died a while ago, he practically gave it away. Reminded him too much of her. Not a lot to look at, but it is one of those 1993 white Subie wagons that you used to see everywhere around Seattle because they never die. Seriously, you can not kill those things. Dent in the door, a lot of scrapes, way past 200k but built solid, low center of gravity, great for these roads and plenty of space with the back seat down. But it runs fine, brakes a little squeaky. Just needs a bit of cleaning up and cleaning out. The radio even works. I got a station with all that great music from the 70s I wish I would have been able to grow up with hearing for the first time along with everyone I knew. What a way to begin this journey of life. But I have what I have, music that those old people never knew was going to happen, so that is something to be so thankful for. I am going to spend the next few days being thankful. I spent the first night on a quiet street, had a smoke and went to sleep listening to tunes from long ago. Even the back seat is fine to curl up in. Nothing like the sound of all four doors locking at once.

I spent another day in Port Angeles, washed clothes, used the Wi-Fi at MickyD's while splurging on a McChicken and ice cream parfait (yeah, I know, but bread and cheese and fruit and carrots gets old), hit the Dollar Store, and then after all this mundanity insanity, finding quiet streets and hearing whatever the radio told me to listen to and writing some poetry and thoughts in the blank book I got at the Goodwill. If any of it is any good or lasting I will put it in here. I also got one of those hiking backrest seats for the beach, and an ice chest and a folding pad thing to sleep on in the car. Besides, I really didn't want to drive those winding, wet roads after eating that loaded chocolate I picked up earlier at the cannabis store down by the waterfront. That stuff lasts forever.

When I got back to Clallam the next day I knew that for whatever reason, this was going to be my home for a while. The first thing I heard when I stepped out of the car was the song of the  Swainson's Thrush telling me not to worry. The quarter store was open, so I got a better coat, some jeans and socks, another pair of shoes and a flannel shirt that's like new, since I don't have to keep everything in a backpack now. That place is better than Goodwill, whatever I might need, they seem to have, just as if something Larger is looking out for me. Besides running into that weird kid, and my beach house getting wrecked, it's all been on goal. And maybe that nudged me to go to town and get this perfect car for really cheap. It's all part of the road to find out and now I have a set of wheels. Sweet.

Between rain squalls I sat on the beach up by the point and then found a quiet place to park for the night. Saw that kid's VDub a couple times but I don't think he recognized me in this car. Not sure how friendly I want to get with some of the people in this town after that incident, at least until I know more about them and decide if I am going to stay here or not. Being a small town, I know they've already noticed me and are talking. On the other hand I have had some good chats, keeping it casual, with people I meet in Port Angeles, but I haven't met any angels there yet. Have to look up how it got that name.

The past couple days were just some driving and thinking and opening up again. Having a safe space on wheels helps a lot. People in Forks, the ones I felt moved, somehow, to talk to, were really pretty decent, the coffee shop, those running the shops still selling Twilight stuff, the guys in the hardware store, and they have a pretty good library too. When I was there with Mom and Trashley, what seems like a lifetime ago now, I remember being all snarky and kind of obnoxious about the stupid logger-heads but it feels like it's a different me now.

After a day there I went down to La Push, which is another Indian reservation, and it was even more beautiful than Neah Bay.

They have a beautiful world out there, but somehow it doesn't feel like my home, like I am only passing through. I guess I don't have so much Indian in me after all, and maybe some way they can tell. Had a little chat with the girls in the cafe, and a better conversation with the tourists from Germany on the beach, talking about the wildlife and logging. The one girl said she couldn't understand why Americans didn't do more to save the forests and the really old trees. Talked to some folks from the midwest who were just in awe of the scenery. I told them a little about leaving home. A month ago I don't think I would have been this open with people. Being out here has been so good. The only odd thing was this guy walking on the shore who kept looking at me. Kind of a shabby older guy, maybe 40, longish light colored hair, dirty backpack. When I looked back he went away. Didn't seem dangerous, exactly but I'm glad I didn't smoke anything that day. I think I need to keep to myself for now when I'm soaring. The little bird has wings to test. I was going to find a place to park my car and spend the night but that didn't seem like a good idea now. I'm sure the Indians native people here keep track of who's where, and this place is run as a business. I know there is a lot that they know that I never will.

I did pick up a couple sweets at a cannabis store in Forks for later. There was a sort of Saturday market going on and I saw that food truck again. Starving to Death, I think it was called. What a name. I guess maybe it has to do with the Twilight thing. The same tired looking lady running it, and she still didn't have anybody else that I could see. Now I wonder if she could use some help. I did work in the school cafeteria last year. It might be a good idea to start figuring out how to get a little money coming in. If I see her again I'll buy something from her and ask if she wants to hire someone. I still have enough money for now and another thing I need to learn is living now and not in my head. Knowing what to learn, when i need to learn it has always been one of my super powers, though sometimes my timing seems to be off. I think my Guardian Spirits have a sense of humor. Or maybe Angel really is watching over me. I thought this was just the sad hope of the desperate, and that people go on when they go from here, and for some reason I don't understand, she wanted to go away from me, but there is always more than we know, something always one step ahead of our mere mortal forms.

Now I am back in Clallam and have spent a couple hours catching up. I feel bad for neglecting writing my chronicles but right now it seems better to experience for a few days and then process. Shit, I'm sounding like my therapist, aren't I? Maybe being alone is a good thing for now.  I found a motel that is even cheaper than the Bay. I hadn't noticed it before. This little place doesn't have a website but I saw the Vacancy sign and they had a room free for a couple nights. So I get a shower and a real bed after having a car for a home for the last week or so and time to be quiet and sit down without being disturbed and learn where the story goes. This salted caramel is calling my name.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Chef

My lifelong dream has always been to own my own food truck business and I had saved every spare penny in order to make it a reality. Funny thing is that not even death could keep me from being the chef I always wanted to be.

Cooking is in my blood, it’s a ‘Ohana’ thing, something I willingly ponied up thousands to go to the best culinary school, just so I could hang that piece of paper on the wall to prove that I was the real deal. The people from my home village didn’t care how educated I was, their only gripe was that I was getting on in age and showed no desire to get married or have children. ‘Something must be wrong with her’, they often gossiped behind my back, ‘Maybe she is one of those people’ was often overheard as well. It made me uncomfortable, but not for myself but my aging mother, who too often had to defend me from the obtrusive comments and questions. The only way I would ever be taken seriously was if I went somewhere new. Hence the move to the mainland. With just my framed diploma, knife bag and some clothes, and boarded a one-way flight with no real destination in mind.
Moving from Hawaii to the Olympic Peninsula was a bit of a culture shock when I first arrived three years ago, but I was determined, had a good work ethic and positive community spirit and it had earned me some brownie points from some of the natives. It took about a year to find the right sized truck to launch my mobile dream, and then another to get it all equipped. Supplies on the peninsula were limited and it got really expensive to have to truck them in from Seattle on a regular basis. I had been working twenty plus hour days to get things ready for the upcoming summer break. A few times, as I was later told, I even passed out from sheer exhaustion and woke up in strange places surrounded by weirder faces. The pressure to finish was draining me; still I forced myself to keep on working –  opening day was just two weeks away. All that remained was the final inspection from the Health Department and to get my permit to sell.

After an especially long night doing truck maintenance, I plopped onto my twin bed, too tired to change my greasy clothes. Scruff, the mechanic helper had been acting a little extra ‘off’ tonight but he was cheap so I didn’t complain. I wasn’t so entrenched into the community that I felt comfortable enough to ask those kinds of personal questions, so I just utilized my island charm by smiling and cooing in low tones. I even went as far to give the odd man a very maternal like hug when he started to leave for the evening. He seemed unfazed but wrapped his clammy arms around me, it was being trapped by an octopus. Eww!

Sleep didn’t come easily for me that night. At times, I thought I was roasting with a fever as hot as Mauna Loa, then it would become so bitterly cold that I forgot it was June and had to reach for my winter covers. That chill set in and remained the rest of the evening, fatigue taking over and sending me into deep slumber. There was no one else in the small home to witness my tossing or hear my fevered moans. There were no dreams that night, just darkness and the cold.

When the morning birds first crowed, dawn found me ensconced in a cocoon of down and covered with a layer of cold sweat. But I felt nothing, just stillness and a void. ‘Must be getting sick’ I pondered to myself. Dragging my body off the bed and into the tiled bathroom, the day’s priorities playing out in my sleep deprived mind. The floor didn’t feel as cold as it normally did this time of day, so I figured I was probably sick, the image looking back at me from the bathroom mirror looked withdrawn and pale. My skin was cold to the touch. I reached for the old thermometer in the drawer and stuck it in my mouth and waited. Fever or no, I had things to do today and nothing was going to change that. A couple long minutes passed and I pulled it out of my mouth - it hadn’t beeped so I my brain wasn’t roasting over 105 degrees. I had to squint really hard to see in the early morning light, it said 65 but that couldn’t be right, according to the fancy wall barometer/temperature that was what it was currently in the house. So I reset it and did it again…and again and again. By the time it had sunk in that the thermometer wasn’t broken, it was already past 8 o’clock. I had been turned. How or why, it didn’t matter. I was still going to march into the County Office and get my license.

The condition didn’t really start taking effect so quickly, aside from being room temperature, I could still think and recall memories. I began reciting recipes in my head to keep from forgetting. I would have to write everything down while I still could, before the hunger took over, before I stopped being me.  I was so deep into my own mind that I didn’t even realize that I had arrived at the office until I heard someone call out “NEXT”.

Things went downhill from there. Apparently the government doesn’t officially recognize ‘my kind’ as legal citizens and the Health Inspector did not want to give me a permit because according to him ‘I was technically dead’. There was much argument between all those involved and someone had eventually called in the Mayor and the Sheriff for their opinions. I just sat there and watched all of them argue the legal rights of the recently deceased versus the chance to make a landmark ruling and be the first to have a food establishment run by a zombie. Finally, when I couldn’t take it anymore, I jumped up, slamming my hand onto the laminate covered desk and screamed “What is the problem? It’s not like I am going to be cooking humans, that’s disgusting. Would you rather have a proper cook feeding the undead or let them keep sneaking around picking off random tourists or drunks.?” You could see the wheels rolling in their hamster brained heads. It took another hour of deliberation, I had fallen asleep in my chair, but eventually the Inspector declared that I would be the first, the experiment and be allowed to serve cooked food, provided I still followed the Living Health Code and be subject to frequent random inspections.

“Starve to Death” Mobile Company, LLC was born, coincidentally the day I died. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Under The Radar

Feeling a little better. Went to the beach after going to the co-op for some supplies. Found a pretty painted rock with writing on the back. Something about "PA Rocks" and then a white "f" in a blue outline square. Is this something to do with that Pokeyman game the other kids are playing with phones? It said "rehide," so I did.  Don't need to spoil anybody's fun.
Rock game? Or what?

Shoe with a foot on it on the beach, again. Haven't heard any fishing boats have gone down. If their crews get trapped, later on their feet rot loose and end up on the beaches. It's not drug wars or Pakistani gangs, like some people say. It's just what happens underwater.

I got down on hands and knees and sniffed it, and it had that nasty metallic rot smell a zombie has, so that's not so bad, although it's bad enough, because they're people, too, just really messed-up people. 

The younger zombies like that vampire series - they're just kids, too - and a few of them have taken the book at its word and tried to cliff-dive around here, and they just went Splat. Cliff-diving is okay if you're in a place where the cliffs go straight down into deep water, like in warm countries, but up here the sea stacks are really just headlands, and go down to bedrocks and reefs. So far it hasn't killed any live kids, but I wish the writer had done some research. For the kids' safety, anyway. Fewer beach feet, too, to freak out the cops and get them running around where I'm trying to hide.

Speaking of safety - I have got to learn to stay away from people. It's not safe, it's not good for my sleep.

I was trying to stay away from that girl, because it looks like something I said scared her, and she ended up trying to sleep on the beach. Anybody up here would know better than to do that, at least on THAT beach. The zombies try to - well, not live, but at least let live, mostly - but after dark, on a moonless night, if they're having a campfire, they'll be having S'mores and one of the ingredients will not be chocolate. Too much temptation.

So I did the worst thing anybody can do to anybody, especially somebody in my own situation - I kicked her shelter apart. I wrecked her stuff. I even pee'd on her campfire ashes. 

I had to scare her off the beach, and I guess it worked, because she's not on the beach. I don't know what happened to her. I hope they didn't get her before I broke up her camp. I hope she's okay.

Note: there's a new cook in town, a woman. From Hawaii, I hear. There's supposed to be a lot of Hawaiians moving up here. I overheard a woman near the co-op talking about her. But the woman telling got a funny look on her face. I've seen that look before, about people. I hope it doesn't mean what I think it means.

Back to the woods, with tea and cheese and some matches. 

I really hope that girl is safe.

Monday, July 18, 2016

OK, now what.....

 [Note from Roberta: please ignore the two years that have passed between episodes and instead look at the date.]

I am still alive. I AM OK. I don't know what to think. The last few days. Now I am in this motel along the highway, across from the sea with a door that locks, a roof, carpet a bathroom and a shower and a BED. My clothes are dripping dry in the shower. This was so worth it. I think the lady in the office felt sorry for me, and it's after the weekend. Out of the shower onto the bed and asleep. I wanted to sleep until they kicked me out at check-out time but dawn is gazing out from beneath the layer of clouds over the sea and something in it has spoken to me. And I have a lot of catching up to do.

I didn't know what to think. Now I think this place is strange. Not all, but something I haven't met yet. Good strange or bad strange I don't know yet.

That looked so much like her car. How many of those old beetles are still crawling around? With the Universe leading me to my true home, why wouldn't she have just shown up when I needed her most. No, it was some guy, young guy who was about as messed up as I was. Decent guy, I think. Once we both knew we weren't going to kill each other, he slept in the front seat and let me in out of the rain curled up in the back seat of a beetle, that's how doubled up I was and a few more trips to the portapotty. I am never eating fish and chips again. Ever. When morning came he drove me into Clallam and I think he is OK, maybe. I want to think I got led to him since he knows a lot about what's around here and he showed up. But I don't know yet if he is one of my people. His name was something that sounded fake which still bothers me.

I explored the town, saw more than before, little store with a lot of interesting food, art gallery that isn't open, library, visitor information, thrift store that isn't open, what looks like a bar, a school and another store up the road. Public restroom. I still needed that. I sent emails home at the library. Most of the day on the beach by the restroom nested down in the sand with a log at my back. Lots of clouds. I think I saw whales. Down past the lighthouse I started building my house. More of a shelter I could crawl into when it got dark, above high tide but I didn't get any sleep, even when i smoked some. 

Next day-- I went to Sekiu, the town across the bay, walked to save bus fare. Different energy than Clallam Bay, fishing. My phone doesn't get service there either. Just experiencing, not cluttering my energy field with anything besides what the world truly is. Saying hi to the people sometimes, and sometimes they seem OK but other times not, more listening to them than talking or thinking or judging. But being OPEN-NESS because it is now just me and what the sea has to tell me, and there is so much to catch up on. My stomach was a little better and I ate the bread and nut bars and cheese I brought, sat out of the rain on the bench in front of the thrift store, appreciating the little things of the day. Listening to the sea and not thinking. Better roof on my house, but I slept some and then all wet from the rain in the morning. Found more wood and rope and dug down and made the house so I could sit up in it. I thought I did a good job.

That day I took the bus to Neah Bay, beautiful road along the sea, and really liked it there, like another place I never knew existed, another world at the end of the earth. I am coming back to go to the museum. I wonder if I could live there. Much more of a town. Had a burger for lunch at one of the stores. It is almost all native people, with a few fishermen and tourists, I guess. I didn't talk to anyone too much because I want to learn about them and sometimes I say stupid things I'm sorry for later. It is why I write. When I am less stressed I want to go back and talk to these people. Something about this felt very important.  The shore is open sea and powerful and I slept on the sand for a long time and still woke up in time for the bus back to Clallam. And when I got to my home it looked like someone had wrecked it. On purpose. I felt like crying but then I looked north at the light fading on the water and the warm colors in the sky and what someone had done did not seem important anymore. I thought I would stay at the beach but there were people around and something didn't feel safe to me, not right somehow. Something scared me and I don't know what it was but I went into town and found a house that looked like nobody was home with a back porch with a roof over it and a lounge I could lie down on. The sea didn't feel safe, there were people who weren't good for me out there. I don't think I slept any.

I think I need to get a car or something. I saw an ad for one on a bulletin board, $1500. I have the money in my account. I went back to the sea in the daylight and then spent part of the day in the library reading. And then when I left, there was the kid in the beetle again. We were talking and he gave me some smoked salmon, which kind of made me think of the bad fish and chips but I ate it. I think he is OK. He seemed more into talking than when I had first met him, and he wanted to show me a special place. We had something to smoke and we went driving to a place by the sea where seals were. I don't know if this was because of what he gave me to smoke but I suddenly knew that he was going to kill me. We were walking along the bottom of the cliff and the water and sky and clouds seemed just enhanced in some way that made them seem like a portal to another world and there was nobody around except the noisy seals and I realized this was the perfect place for him to kill me. I hope it was because I had hardly any sleep and whatever it was we were smoking. I was so scared but trying not to show it but I knew he knew. It was like he could know what I was thinking, because he said things like, it was going to be OK and something about being afraid of the dead or something like that. I told him I had to go back to town right away. He looked surprised and said he was going to show me his tree, whatever that meant, but I told him to get me back to town now and was insistent about it. There were some other people around. I had him drop me off by the art gallery, even though it was closed, and I remembered seeing a motel not too far up the road. So here I am. This is so worth it. 

Going to change my clothes and go next door to have their breakfast special and then see if I can spend another night here. Lots of vacant parking spaces. And go across the street and sit on a log and look at the sea and find the OPEN-NESS again. I still don't know what to think. But I think I need a car.